First things first: Dan Rather droning “the wildly successful rock duo the White Stripes … churning out heart pounding hits like ‘Seven Nation Army’” would make a killer ringtone.

From there, Rather’s writers really turned up the hyperbole: Jack White is described during last night's (Sept. 16) episode of ‘The Big Interview’ as a “renaissance man,” “one of a kind” and “one of the great guitar heroes of our time.” He’s also a “restless rock star” and “one of the greatest performers in rock and roll today.”

But don’t let the bad script get you down. Rather is an engaging -- if out of his element -- interviewer, and his sit down with White is worth your time. During their one hour together, fans see the inside of Third Man Records, get a couple of solo acoustic verses of Hank Williams Sr.’s ‘Tennessee Border,’ and name checks ranging from Carl Sagan to Bob Dylan to Aaron Copland.

White makes a solid case for his creative life as “the pursuit of truth” rather than a rejection of technology. “I want the now and the future to be beautiful,” he says, noting his desire to replace plastic experiences like Auto-Tune and text messaging with something more real.

For music fans, the most interesting moment breaks down into a neat list, with Rather asking White his picks for:

  • Greatest country song: Hank Williams’s ‘Cold Cold Heart’ or Loretta Lynn’s ‘Don’t Come Home a Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind)’
  • Greatest rock song: The Stooges' ‘Fun House’ (full album)
  • Best blues song: Blind Willie Johnson's ‘Dark was the Night’
  • Song for his own funeral:  The White Stripes’ 'The Same Boy You’ve Always Known'

The rest is there, too, from White’s early days as an upholsterer, his flirtation with the priesthood and the bad days in Detroit after the White Stripes hit and his friends couldn’t deal with it.

Calling Jack White well-adjusted might be a stretch, but he seemed comfortable talking with Dan Rather from his Third Man headquarters. ‘The Big Interview’ with Jack White reruns several times through the end of the week. Check out AXS TV’s website for scheduled times.